Restructuring the Education Department

By Andrew Kreighbaum for Inside Higher Ed

February 19, 2018

A Department of Education reorganization plan whose broad themes were shared with employees last week would collapse multiple units with higher ed functions into one office whose leader would answer directly to the secretary.

The plan also calls for eliminating the office of the under secretary, which has played a key role in shaping higher education policy during the previous two presidential administrations.

Those moves would be part of a larger shake-up of the department that officials say is intended to make lines of decision making more clear, improve policy coordination and reduce the total number of political appointees. It would also be Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s clearest imprint yet on the agency after spending much of the last year reversing Obama administration initiatives.

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Education Secretary calls for tuition fee ‘variety’

From the BBC

February 18, 2018

More “variety” is needed in the price of university education, the secretary of state said ahead of a government review of the system.

Damian Hinds also suggested tuition fees should reflect each degree’s value “to our society as a whole”.

It comes as a committee of MPs said there was no justification for such “high interest rates” on student loans.

Labour said another review would not solve the problems posed by interest rate increases and fee rises.

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DeVos and Democrats Urge Congress to Hold Hearings on School Shootings

By Erica L. Green for The New York Times

February 17, 2018

A chorus of Democratic lawmakers have joined the education secretary, Betsy DeVos, in calling for Congress to act after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fla.

In a letter on Friday, all 17 Democrats on the House Education Committee urged Representative Virginia Foxx, the committee’s chairwoman, to convene hearings on school shootings, describing them as a “public health epidemic.” The panel has not addressed the issue since February 2013 — two months after a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut left 20 first graders and six adults dead, they said.

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